In URLs Can Be Beautiful, Chris Shiflett explains how he built beautiful URLs for OmniTI.
I agree whole-heartedly that URLs can and should be beautiful, and I firmly believe they should not only look good, but should also be useful, meaningful, and “discoverable.” In the case of OmniTI, the first subcategory in the URL is based on an action verb, like “is”, “helps”, or “thinks.” This gives the URL a powerful mnemonic quality, since it reads like a sentence. It also describes the content of the page it represents, which is awesome.
The only downside I can see is the “discoverability” for common URLs like “about” and “contact”. A lot of people are used to finding those URLs the same on most sites, especially typical brochure-type business websites. But, you can always have a redirect rule for those if it’s important. The creativity and unique design of OmniTI’s URL scheme might just make up for the loss of predictability.
I’m glad to see a great example of a beautiful and semantic URL scheme to use as inspiration for my own projects.
UPDATE: As a nice follow-up, Nate Abele explains how to set up nice URLs in the CakePHP framework by defining custom routes: Advanced URL Routing and SEO Techniques with CakePHP.
2 thoughts on “Beautiful URLs”
Hey Lance, thanks for writing about this. Regarding predictability, I think you have a good point. We do indeed redirect /about, but we currently fail to do that for /contact. (I plan to resolve that as a result of reading your post.) We also redirect /services and a few others that people might try.
Glad you like the idea in general, though. I think it’s a neat touch. 🙂